Chinese New Year
This morning, I stopped by my favorite local deli to pick up a giant Arizona iced tea to get my morning going. Eyes closed, I nearly ran into the closed metal grill covering the store (disclaimer: no Education Coordinators were harmed in the making of this blog post.) And then I noticed the sign hanging on the front: Chinese New Year, Closed for One Day Only. I asked my coworkers what celebrations were taking place in our neighborhood, and discovered the Chinese New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival taking place just a block over at Sara Delano Roosevelt Park. Intrigued, I stopped by to usher in the Year of the Rabbit with the rest of the museum staff.
A bit of history: Sara Delano Roosevelt Park opened in 1934, named after then-president Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s influential mother. The largest open space on the Lower East Side, the park’s 7.8 acres stretch from Canal all the way up to Houston Street. Creating the park was one of Robert Moses‘ first tasks as commissioner of the newly unified Department of Parks for New York City. An immediate success in this historically overcrowded neighborhood, the park still serves the local community. When I pass by every day, I see locals stretching their limbs with Tai Chi, children playing on the swings, and the occasional game of pickup soccer. It is quite amazing to realize that this is a space that has been serving a changing immigrant public for almost 80 years!
The festivities today certainly did not disappoint. We posed with dancing rabbits, saw adorable children decked in holiday finest, and, for the main event, heard the pop! of 600,000 firecrackers releasing confetti into the icy blue skies.
For more photos and videos from our Chinese New Year excursion, make sure to visit our facebook page.